Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 1, 2014

May 18, 2012

New Jersey: David Axelrod to Campaign for Steven Rothman

New Jersey: David Axelrod to Campaign for Steven Rothman

Rep. Steven Rothman (above) picked up support from senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: 4:57 p.m. | Senior Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod is set to campaign on behalf of Rep. Steven Rothman on Wednesday in his tough 9th district primary against fellow Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell. The Bergen County Record first reported the news.

President Bill Clinton endorsed Pascrell earlier this month, and Axelrod’s move to campaign for Rothman sets up a rematch of sorts of the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. In that contest, Rothman was an early Obama backer; Pascrell endorsed then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

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Florida: Former Rep. Dave Weldon Jumps Into Senate Race

Former Rep. Dave Weldon (R), a physician who served in Congress from 1995 to 2009, today announced a long-shot bid for Senate in Florida.

“Someone has to do something to provide a Conservative answer to the problems the Administration has created and the current Senate has endorsed,” Weldon said in a statement, according to the Miami Herald. “We can’t keep racking up debt and placing it on the backs of our children. It’s time to stop the spending and balance the budget again. Together, we can change Washington — I helped do it once — and I can help do it again.” Full story

California: Obama Endorses Pete Stark

President Barack Obama today endorsed California Rep. Pete Stark, who is facing a stiff challenge from a fellow Democrat in California’s June 5 all-party primary.

The 20-term Congressman and Dublin City Councilman Eric Swalwell (D) are likely to advance to the general election in the solidly Democratic 15th district. But Stark’s path to re-election has become less certain in recent weeks after some odd gaffes. Stark has apologized for falsely accusing a San Francisco Chronicle columnist of contributing to Swalwell’s campaign and for claiming that Swalwell had accepted bribes.

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NRCC Pulls in Big Money, Outraises DCCC in April

NRCC Pulls in Big Money, Outraises DCCC in April

The National Republican Congressional Committee, led by Rep. Pete Sessions, outraised its Democratic counterpart in April. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The National Republican Congressional Committee outraised the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee by about half a million dollars in April.

The NRCC raised an impressive $6.9 million last month and ended April with $31.3 million in cash on hand.

That compares with the $6.48 million raised by the DCCC; it ended the month with $25 million in the bank.

The NRCC is almost $20 million ahead of where it was in cash on hand at this time last cycle.

DCCC Posts Big April Fundraising Haul

DCCC Posts Big April Fundraising Haul

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has turned in top fundraising this cycle under its chairman, Rep. Steve Israel. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $6.48 million in April and ended last month with $25 million in cash on hand.

The DCCC has posted big fundraising figures in recent months, often outraising its counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee.

A DCCC spokesman said this was their “best April in history.”

By comparison, the DCCC raised just less than $3 million in April of 2006, a year in which they took control of the House, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

The NRCC has not yet released its monthly fundraising numbers, which are due to be filed at the FEC on or before Sunday.

Democrats have an uphill climb to net the 25 seats needed to take back the chamber, which they lost in 2010. The first salvo in that effort will come next month in the Arizona special election to replace former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D). Both parties and their allies are spending heavily on the swing seat.

Arizona: New Kelly Ad Hits Barber on Cap-and-Trade

Updated: 10:28 a.m. | Republican Jesse Kelly’s latest TV ad in the hotly-contested Arizona special election to replace former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) hits on a familiar issue from the 2010 elections: Cap-and-trade legislation. The ad criticizes Ron Barber, the Democratic nominee and a former Giffords aide, for supporting the 2009 bill aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

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May 17, 2012

Colorado: Mike Coffman Retracts Obama is ‘Not An American’ Comment

Colorado: Mike Coffman Retracts Obama is Not An American Comment

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) recently questioned President Barack Obama’s birthplace and patriotism, then quickly apologized for the comments. The Denver NBC affiliate 9NEWS first broke the story and posted the audio online late Wednesday night.

“I don’t know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don’t know that,” Coffman said on Saturday at a fundraiser at the Elbert County Fairgrounds.”But I do know this, that in his heart, he’s not an American. He’s just not an American.”

The comments come as Coffman is in the fight of his career against state Rep. Joe Miklosi (D) in the redrawn 6th district. Full story

Wisconsin: DCCC Involved In Gubernatorial Recall

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is investing in Wisconsin’s June 5 gubernatorial recall election.

The DCCC confirmed to Roll Call today that the committee has shifted its Badger State operation, in place to aid Democratic Congressional candidates in the fall elections, to boost the party’s effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker (R) and replace him with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Today, the DCCC today sent an email fundraising appeal asking its supporters to help underwrite its participation in the recall campaign.

“We’ve gotten a lot of questions about the upcoming Wisconsin election,” DCCC Field Director Brynne Craig wrote in the email. “Here’s the answer: our Wisconsin team is in.”

The committee has been building an infrastructure in Wisconsin to go on offense in the fall. The two most prominent Republican seats on the DCCC’s radar are Rep. Sean Duffy’s 7th district and Rep. Reid Ribble’s 8th district. Roll Call rates both races as Leans Republican.


North Dakota: Club for Growth Backs Kevin Cramer for Congress

National conservatives have officially set their target on a rare contested primary for North Dakota’s open House seat.

The Club for Growth endorsed Public Service Commissioner Kevin Cramer today, just one day after FreedomWorks announced its support for his bid.

The North Dakota Republican Party and its leaders support Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk, who received the party’s official endorsement at the state convention earlier this year. Cramer opted to run outside the convention system — an infrequent move in North Dakota — and challenge Kalk in the June 12 primary.

The state GOP’s support gives Kalk financial and political resources, and now national groups could boost Cramer with their own deep pockets and fundraising network.

“Kevin Cramer will fight to cut spending, repeal ObamaCare and restore fiscal sanity in Washington,” club President Chris Chocola said in a statement.

NRCC Announces New ‘Contender’ Candidates

The National Republican Congressional Committee announced today that eight GOP House candidates are one step closer to earning the committee’s top-tier Young Guns status.

Those eight candidates progressed to the Contender level, the third step in the four-step Young Guns program. The candidates must meet district-specific benchmarks to move through the program, which gives fundraising and infrastructure assistance.

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Poll: David Cicilline Has Tough Primary in Rhode Island

Poll: David Cicilline Has Tough Primary in Rhode Island

Rep. David Cicilline has a difficult re-election race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. David Cicilline, one of the most endangered House Democrats this cycle, might not even make it out of the September primary, according to a poll conducted for Rhode Island television affiliate WPRI.

The Congressman got 40 percent versus 36 percent for his primary challenger, businessman Anthony Gemma. Twenty percent of those surveyed were undecided.

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Romney, RNC Raise $40 Million in April

Romney, RNC Raise $40 Million in April

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee combined to raise $40.1 million in April and closed the month with $61.4 million in cash on hand.

Romney’s April fundraising haul fell just shy of the $43.6 million raised by President Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee during the same period, and would appear to indicate that the former Massachusetts governor is coalescing the support of Republicans following a long and divisive primary campaign.

This is the first month that the RNC and the Romney campaign have coordinated fundraising efforts. Romney’s last main obstacle to the nomination, former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.), dropped his presidential bid in early April.

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California: Maldonado Pre-Primary Ad Costs $200K

In a race to watch, former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado (R) launched his first TV ad in the 24th district.

Maldonado is one of two Republicans challenging Rep. Lois Capps (D), whose once-safe district was redrawn as one of the state’s most competitive in redistricting.

As the only Democrat, Capps is assured of advancing beyond the June 5 all-party primary, while Maldonado and actor Chris Mitchum (R) battle for the second spot.

“Together, my family turned a few acres into a thriving, family-run small business, creating jobs and opportunities,” Maldonado says in the ad. “But what about future generations? Washington is threatening the American dream. Bank bailouts, costly regulations — they don’t make things work, they make things worse.”

The Maldonado campaign spent $200,000 to air the ad for three weeks, according to a campaign spokesman. Capps launched two television ads last week that are running on broadcast and cable through the primary and focus on her work on behalf of the district since being elected in 1998.

May 16, 2012

Washington: Dennis Kucinich Won’t Run Here — or Anywhere Else

Washington: Dennis Kucinich Wont Run Here — or Anywhere Else

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) will not seek a House seat in Washington state this year after losing a primary to a fellow Democratic Member in March.

In an email to his supporters, Kucinich thanked the “tens of thousands of concerned Citizens for Kucinich who in the past few months have written, emailed and called to discuss my running for Congress in Washington State.”

“After careful consideration and discussions with Elizabeth and my closest friends, I have decided that, at this time, I can best serve from outside the Congress,” he continued.

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Massachusetts: Elizabeth Warren Releases New Ad

Massachusetts: Elizabeth Warren Releases New Ad

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Elizabeth Warren, the presumptive Democratic nominee for Senate in Massachusetts, released a new ad today that continues to introduce the Harvard Law School professor and consumer advocate to voters.

“Her father was a janitor; my father was a janitor,” a woman says at the beginning of the ad.

“She’s one of us!” says a man, reflecting a sentiment seen at a recent Warren event with union voters.

The ad was rotated into an earlier buy of about $760,000 that ends May 20. It will also be part of a new significant statewide buy that will go beyond Saturday. Warren has had a substantial presence on Massachusetts TV in recent weeks.

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